What You Should Do Prior to Accepting a Job Offer

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Well you did it! What an exciting and wonderful time in someone’s life when you hear those magical words “You’re hired.” Whether you spent months pounding the pavement or you were hired through the “good ‘ol boy” network, accepting the job offer is the last piece of the new employment puzzle. Some job seekers become so excited regarding their offer of employment, that they forget to ask vital questions regarding the new company or position or do not take their current employer’s needs into consideration. All of which are extremely important. So before you give a resounding “Yes,” ensure that you have taken these few questions into account.

When is the start date and is it flexible? If you are currently working, you absolutely must give a minimum of two weeks notice prior to leaving a position. Or perhaps, you have non-refundable tickets to Hawaii that you bought before you lost your last job. In any case, you must ensure that the start date is something that you can work with.

What is the salary and is it up for negotiation? Many hiring managers, employers, and HR professionals will tell you that the salary is generally negotiable. Those doing the hiring are of course master negotiators and are prepared for open discussion regarding the salary. Do some minor research online regarding some negotiation tactics to assist you if you do not feel comfortable asking for more. If you simply say “yes” to the first offer, you may just be selling yourself short. Salary websites include www.salary.com.

Thoroughly review the job description to ensure that you truthfully are qualified for the position. Trying to “fake it till you make it” is not fair to do to the employer or to yourself in the form of a bad reference. If there is even one aspect of the position that you are unsure of, discuss it with the employer. Most likely the employer will still offer the position and offer training in the area of question. Remember only about 50% of their decision to hire you was based on your skills. The other is approximately 10% education and about 40% personality.

Ask what a typical day and more importantly an atypical day is like for the person in this position. The typical day in the position may be more of one job duty than you would like or an atypical day may be something that is complete deal breaker like taking the employer’s grandmother to the doctor or delivering their dry cleaning. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting into.

Ask about the corporate culture of the organization. Are they extremely on-point and task driven at all times or does the company have a progressive and relaxed atmosphere? Do they tend to support the employee’s professional development with training, seminars, and certifications or are they a just “put the widget together and clock out” type of company? You have to make an honest determination as to which environment you would most likely be successful in.